Founder Jay Paul Deratany Wrote and Produced a Heart-Wrenching Film About Abused Foster Youth
You won’t want to miss this movie starring Academy Award Winner® Louis Gossett Jr., Matthew Modine, Shane Paul McGhie, Julie Benz, Amy Brenneman, and more. Written and produced by our own Jay Paul Deratany, executive produced by Shaquille O’Neal, Foster Boy shines a light on the brutal trauma that foster youth can face and the system they must navigate to get justice. The story follows a lawyer representing a foster youth and uncovering a world of corruption in a so-called “protective” system, is available for iTunes pre-order now. The film has a theatrical and video on demand (VOD) release on September 25th.
Want updates on Foster Boy’s Theatrical Release? Follow the Film on Social Media:
ADHD Teen Released After Being Jailed For Not Doing Homework
When we recognized Minority Mental Health Month during July’s newsletter, we mentioned a disturbing story that was ongoing at the time – Grace, a 15 year old black Michigan teenager was sent to juvenile hall after not completing her homework. Grace has ADHD, was on probation after an altercation, and struggled with the transition to online learning at the beginning of the pandemic. After initially being denied release despite outcry from her mother and activists, Grace was released on August 11th.
Her release came after the judge accepted the recommendation of a caseworker that Grace’s probation be terminated and that she be released to her mother. Teenagers with learning disabilities, from traumatic backgrounds, or dealing with behavioral issues are always at increased risk of stigma and punishment instead of support and assistance. This is even more true with BIPOC students like Grace.
A protester at a demonstration calling for the court to release ‘Grace’ from the Oakland County Children’s Village
We should support social workers and trained caseworkers being sent to work with teens who display behavioral issues – not resort to increasing the criminalization of kids. With the right support, like an independent education plan or other accommodations, children from all backgrounds and abilities can thrive. They deserve that chance, and we send our best to Grace as she recovers from this ordeal and continues her studies.
In acknowledgement of Jay’s passionate dedication to fighting for a brighter future for LGBTQ+ youth and his career-long contributions to his community, such as providing volunteer legal services during the AIDS crisis, he is being recognized in Chicago’s LGBT Hall of Fame!
The Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame was founded in 1991 and has honored Chicago LGBTQ+ community leaders, activists, and advocates every year since.
You can watch Jay officially join the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame during the organization’s virtual induction ceremony on October 13th.